In a similar fashion as the week prior, a fumble by a running back would be the decision in the game. The Steelers would fall to the Denver Broncos and a final score of 16-23. Meaning that we'll see Peyton Manning and the number one defense face off against Tom Brady in a continuation of the Manning-Brady Bowl for the rights to see the Super Bowl.
With a fumble in the final minutes by former Baltimore Ravens, now turned Pittsburgh Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, the Denver Broncos turned the game around and gave themselves the opportunity to win it all. A drive led by Peyton Manning that ran the ball down the Steelers throats and a two-point conversion was all it took to give the Broncos a seven-point lead and the eventual win.
The game was a slow starter, with the Broncos going up by six points after two miscues by the Steelers special teams. A terrible punt by Pittsburgh's Jordan Berry and a fantastic punt return by Denver's Omar Bolden on separate drives gave Peyton Manning the perfect field position to get points regardless of the outcome. However Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers offense found their footing, leading to a touchdown run by Toussaint to give themselves the lead that they wouldn't give up until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Without Antonio Brown and with an injured Ben Roethlisberger, few expected the Steelers to even keep the game competitive, much less take control of things. Yet wide receiver Martavis Bryant showed up to the tune of 154 yards receiving, while Roethlisberger would throw for 339 yards.
The Steelers defense held things in check themselves, keeping Peyton Manning on his backside for most of the game and limiting what the Broncos could do on the ground. The biggest issue for the Broncos offense was less of the defense stopping them as it was drops by their intended receivers. Nearing double digits in that category, the Broncos will need to figure that out quickly in the AFC Championship in order to have a legitimate shot at being the AFC's representative to the Super Bowl.